The Secret To Happiness
By Drenda Keesee
After decades of marriage, raising a family, ministry, and business, I’ve learned a POWERFUL lesson…
How to be HAPPY.
You’re probably thinking, That’s crazy, Drenda! Everyone knows how to be happy!
Sure, I knew how to be happy when I got my way and life was going right … but what about when everything was going terribly WRONG?
What about when I was living in an old farmhouse that had plants growing through the windows, I was digging through couch cushions to find enough money to get the kids McDonald’s, and I found out bees had set up their home in the bedroom my sons shared?
Making the choice to rejoice wasn’t so easy on those days…
I remember driving my children through the drive-through one day and I was stressed, tired, and worried about different circumstances in mine and Gary’s life. If you’ve ever gone through the drive-through with five little ones in your vehicle, you know the ordering process can be frustrating. I tried my best to order as each child loudly chimed in, in unison, with their order.
The McDonald’s worker handed me our food and I pulled away. The smell of french fries filled the car, and my worries started to fade as I grew more excited to eat. I drove down the road and pulled over where we could enjoy our meal in the car.
I handed each child a meal, but as I went to pull mine out…
…my hand reached the bottom of the bag.
They forgot my food!
Now I was stressed, tired, and HANGRY. Ha! I raised the cup of Sprite in my hand in a burst of anger; and as if on cue, the lid on the paper cup popped open, sending a small tidal wave of Sprite all over the car. My kids watched in silent awe, and I heard my oldest daughter, Amy, start to cry.
I looked up at the Sprite-stained roof of our van with the soundtrack of my daughter softly crying in the backseat.
I had totally blown it…
I learned how to make the choice to rejoice the hard way, but you don’t have to!
“Be selective with your battles. Sometimes peace is better than being right.” —Anonymous
I realized that I needed to change my mindset. It was time to shut down the pity party for one. I put a sign up in our bathroom that said, “Make the choice to rejoice.” Every time I started to feel bad for myself, I went into the bathroom and read that sign.
Then I looked at myself in the mirror and gave myself a little pep talk. “Drenda, this isn’t your forever… You’re going to bigger and better places! You can do it! You were made for this!”
I regained my joy and took back my day!
The powerful lesson I learned was that my happiness was MY CHOICE. I could CHOOSE to have a good day—to be unaffected by screaming toddlers, a difficult person at work, or something somebody said that was intended to wound me.
It was an incredible discovery: I was the master of my emotions.
My mom always used to tell me, “Nobody can steal your joy unless YOU give them permission.”
She was absolutely right!
Every single day, we have two choices: we can simply react to everything happening around us, or we can take action and create the lives we want to live.
If we put our happiness in other people’s hands, we’re going to be disappointed. Not only that, but we’ll be on an emotional roller coaster.
Don’t give someone else the keys to your happiness!
It’s incredibly freeing when we take back the responsibility for how we feel. When we react to others’ actions, it sets us up to be the victim. When we maintain the fact that we own our emotions, we free ourselves to be victorious in all circumstances!
Matthew 16:19 says, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
The keys are in your hands. What are you going to do with them?
Listen in Now to Faith Life Church!
Drenda Keesee’s contagious zeal and humorous personal experiences help make her ministry of spiritual, emotional and relational wholeness one that will bless your life and spark a new fire in your spirit.
A wife of over 30 years and a mother of five children, Drenda has ministered at churches, seminars, and conferences, and through the mediums of television and radio, for more than 20 years.
Her books, The New Vintage Family, Better Than You Think, and She Gets It are available wherever books are sold. In these heartfelt books, Drenda shares her personal journey and the life lessons that have brought her to where she is today, as well as practical answers that all people need to live a joyful life.
Drenda and her husband Gary founded Faith Life Now, a ministry designed to spread the message of freedom in the areas of finances, faith, marriage, and family. Tune in for their weekly messages here. Faith Life Now hosts conferences worldwide, and sponsors both Fixing the Money Thing, which Drenda co-hosts with her husband Gary, and Drenda.
Through their own life experiences, the Keesees have found the principles from God’s Word to be powerful and effective. At one point, Drenda was a young, suicidal feminist with no hope of ever being “good enough” for her own standards of perfection. She never wanted the “inconvenience” of a husband or children, and she was on her own path to success. But the stress of trying to achieve perfection and perform for love left her broken and used. She had success, but it was nothing compared to the pain and loneliness it had also brought.
That’s when God got a hold of her heart. It was there—at her lowest point—that she found the One who accepted and loved her, faults and all. Since that transformation, Drenda has had a passion to reach women who find themselves where she once was.
She married Gary after attending college, and there she found herself in a personal boot camp of sorts. She says, “I cried and told God, ‘I can do anything but be a wife and mother.’” She committed to learning how to do it God’s way. Through the many years of raising their children and struggling to make ends meet, Drenda learned from their mistakes. “I didn’t know how to be a wife and mother, but God saved our marriage, taught us how to parent our children for success, showed us how to have financial success, and then irony of all ironies, He called us to ministry.” It’s truly because of these life experiences that Drenda can now share so many insightful principles for people who are now going through the same struggles.